Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 2003
The industry responds to FERC's new safety regulations.
Utility companies are scrambling to understand and comply with the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, which became law in December 2002. According to Daphne Magnuson, director of public relations at the American Gas Association (AGA), the act will require member companies to make significant changes during the next 10 years in how they operate.
Weather-contingent options are cheaper than other weather risk products and can be crafted to suit emissions allowance markets.
Weather is a pivotal demand factor in energy consumption, but one that is difficult to predict and impossible to control. With weather-hedging tools available in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets for several years, the market has grown to $4.2 billion, with approximately 4,000 contracts traded in 2001, according to Pricewaterhouse-Coopers.
Common objections to weather hedging products include:
Can RTO market monitors really be independent?
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiatives on regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and standard market design give new prominence to the market monitoring institution (MMI), a novel regulatory tool never before contemplated in legislation.1
The ISO graples with the politics of scarity.
In regions that have embraced electric industry restructuring, such as New York, New England, and the mid-Atlantic states, where independent system operators (ISOs) have taken over and the standard market design (SMD) has grabbed a foothold over bulk power transactions, one fascinating question still dogs theorists and policymakers alike:
Is a power supply shortage really all that bad?
The Allegheny Energy Inc. board of directors named Florida Power & Light Co. President Paul Evanson its new chairman, replacing the retiring Alan J. Noia. Allegheny's interim president, Jay Pifer, assumed the duties of COO at Allegheny. Evanson had been with Florida Power and Light since 1992. He will be replaced temporarily by Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group, until a permanent replacement is found.
To the Editor:
In your recent article about New York's "demand curve" ("New York Throws a Curve," May 15), opponents dismiss the role of installed capacity in restructured electric markets. Instead, they suggest a complete reliance on revenues from the energy market to recover all fixed costs. Yet, as your article notes, an energy-only approach might require price spikes of up to $30,000/MWh to cover the fixed costs of "peaking" units that seldom run but are needed for reliability.